Introduction: Laser Cut a Simple Christmas Ornament!
Hello! Before I get started, I should emphasize: this Instructable should be really, really easy, provided you have a laser cutter. Without one of those nifty devices, I would have labored hours to crudely carve this, only to produce something much, much uglier. Only that's not accurate, because I probably wouldn't have made this ornament at all.
I made it at TechShop, because a laser cutter is not something I have at my house.
Step 1: Design Your Logo
Easy enough, the first step is to design a logo or, better yet (if you already have one) to simply copy and paste it into Adobe Illustrator. My company already has a one conveniently enough, so it was a matter of formatting it to be etched and outlining the ornament. First I removed all color to reduce it to black and white, and then I pasted it into a new document.
I created an outer circle a little over 3.5" to be the vector outline--this is what the laser cutter will actually be cutting out. Inside of that outer boundary, I created a circle of width 7px to highlight the ornament's shape. This was etched into the final product. I then flipped the logo (see picture) and placed it within the circle in a position that looked best to me. Finally, I positioned a small vectored hole toward the top of the ornament, which is where a hook will later attach. Now of course, you could just drill a hole out afterward and skip designing in a hole, but that defeats the whole purpose of using a laser cutter. be sure to center this hole--otherwise your ornament will wind up tilting to the side.
Step 2: Send It to the Laser Cutter
For materials, I opted to use 1/8" clear acrylic, but colors or thicker acrylic should work too.
I ran into an issue with lasing--the machine I was using for whatever reason wasn't recognizing the vector outlines as vectors, so the piece wasn't being cut out. I saved my file as a .eps, though, and then was able to import into Corel Draw. I set all vector lines to hairline width, set the printing settings correctly, and voila! A piece came out beautifully.
Step 3: Marvel, Clean, and Mount
If the cutting process went well, you should now have a beautiful acrylic ornament that, moments ago, was an undefined piece of plastic.
I then cleaned my ornament with simple all purpose cleaner and paper towels, though I'm sure there are better materials for this purpose, and I bent a paperclip to form a Christmas ornament hook.
SPECIAL LASERCUTTING BONUS: if you don't cut a hole at the top, guess what? You've got coasters!